Day: April 22, 2019

‘Catastrophically’ injured Toronto van attack survivor, 92, thankful to be alive

Aleksandra Kozhevnikova doesn’t remember being hit by the van that careened through north Toronto and mowed down pedestrians on a busy thoroughfare last April.

Nor does the 92-year-old woman, one of the 16 injured who survived, want to talk about the attack that killed 10 people and robbed her of the independence she so valued, her son, Vadym Kozhevnikov, said.

Before the incident, the retired grandmother lived alone, led an active life and largely took care of herself, Kozhevnikov said in a recent interview. A year later, she requires constant care from a personal support worker and can’t walk more than a few steps without assistance or switching to a wheelchair, he said.

And though she’s been told what happened, Kozhevnikova avoids any reminders, her son said. “She is very, very sensitive now, she can start crying . . . she worries about everything,” he said.

His mother even cast aside a prized red walker she got a year or two before the attack and often took with her to run errands, he said, because it stirred up too many emotions.

“It was very nice, everybody asked, ‘Wow where did you get it?’ . . . This one was very fancy,” he said. But in the wake of the crash, “she put it into (the) garbage,” he said.


Related stories:

One year later: Toronto to mark Yonge Street van attack

8 women, 2 men among those killed in Toronto van attack


The brazen daytime attack that played out on Yonge Street on April 23, 2018, sparked a wave of fear and grief in Toronto and beyond, with some saying the city would bear permanent scars.

Police allege Alek Minassian deliberately drove a rental van onto the crowded sidewalk. The 26-year-old is charged with 10 counts of first-degree murder and 16 counts of attempted murder, allegations he will face in a trial scheduled to begin next February.

A year later, the more than $4 million raised in support of the victims and their families have been disbursed, and consultations are underway to build permanent memorials.

While some wish to avoid memories of the incident, families and communities across the city are marking the grim anniversary with events dedicated to those they lost.

A service will be held at a Toronto church to honour Munir Najjar, an 85-year-old Jordanian citizen who was visiting his children in Toronto with his wife when he was killed in the attack, said Harry Malawi, a family friend and president of the Jordanian Canadian Society.

Najjar’s wife has been in and out of the city in the last year and their son, a musician with the Canadian Arabic Orchestra, has returned to work, Malawi said. “They’re trying to live their life, they’re trying to move forward,” he said.

Marking the milestone is key to ensuring those who lost their lives are not forgotten, he said. “It may bring, on one hand, bad memories but it also brings healing thoughts,” he said.

A ceremony is also planned at the Buddhist temple that Renuka Amarasingha, another victim of the crash, attended weekly, said Rev. Ahangama Rathanasiri, chief monk at the Mahavihara Buddhist Meditation Centre.

Amarasingha, 45, was an active member of Toronto’s Sri Lankan community and a single mother. Her son Diyon, now eight, was taken in by family friends and continues to attend Sunday school at the temple, Rathanasiri said.

Manjula Wickramaratne, a family friend who takes Diyon to the temple each week, said the boy is doing well and has reconnected with his father. The father, who lives in Montreal, is in the process of working out a custody arrangement, she said.

Thousands of people donated to an online fundraiser for the child, for a total of nearly $360,000. A note on the fundraiser page dated a few weeks after the attack said the organizers were working through the “legal formalities” of setting up a trust for Diyon.

The last year has involved legal battles for several of those hurt or grieving as a result of the attack.

Three people who were injured — Amaresh Tesfamariam, Catherine Riddell and Amir Kiumarsi — have filed lawsuits against Minassian, as has the family of Anne Marie D’Amico, who was killed in the crash.

The lawsuits, which have not been tested in court, are seeking millions of dollars from Minassian and Ryder Truck Rental Canada, alleging the devastating injuries and deaths on that day were due to an intentional act by Minassian and negligence on his and the rental company’s part.

The lawyer representing the D’Amico family has said that any money his clients may be awarded would be donated to the Anne Marie D’Amico Foundation, which supports women who are victims of violence.

Kozhevnikova, meanwhile, was locked in a dispute with her insurance company, which was withholding payments because it contested the gravity of her injuries, her lawyer said.

The matter seemed poised for resolution recently after medical experts hired by the company deemed her to be “catastrophically” injured, Michael Taylor said. Kozhevnikova, who suffered neck and spinal injuries, is “as catastrophic as catastrophic can ever get,” Taylor said in a recent interview.

The medical designation should raise her insurance coverage limit to $1 million from $65,000, he said. Though Kozhevnikova does not fully grasp the issue, the outcome is a “huge relief,” her lawyer said.

Overall, Kozhevnikova has remained positive, though her moods and her ability to communicate can be erratic, he said.

“She went through a lot of things in her life. She went through the war as a teen, she went through immigration — that wasn’t easy also — she survived the van attack,” Taylor said. “She’s just thankful of being alive.”

With files from Liam Casey

@repost Joint Physical Custody

Via Child Custody Lawyers

source https://toronto.citynews.ca/2019/04/22/north-york-van-attack-survivor/

By The Wall of Law April 22, 2019 Off

‘Catastrophically’ injured Toronto van attack survivor, 92, thankful to be alive

Aleksandra Kozhevnikova doesn’t remember being hit by the van that careened through north Toronto and mowed down pedestrians on a busy thoroughfare last April.

Nor does the 92-year-old woman, one of the 16 injured who survived, want to talk about the attack that killed 10 people and robbed her of the independence she so valued, her son, Vadym Kozhevnikov, said.

Before the incident, the retired grandmother lived alone, led an active life and largely took care of herself, Kozhevnikov said in a recent interview. A year later, she requires constant care from a personal support worker and can’t walk more than a few steps without assistance or switching to a wheelchair, he said.

And though she’s been told what happened, Kozhevnikova avoids any reminders, her son said. “She is very, very sensitive now, she can start crying . . . she worries about everything,” he said.

His mother even cast aside a prized red walker she got a year or two before the attack and often took with her to run errands, he said, because it stirred up too many emotions.

“It was very nice, everybody asked, ‘Wow where did you get it?’ . . . This one was very fancy,” he said. But in the wake of the crash, “she put it into (the) garbage,” he said.


Related stories:

One year later: Toronto to mark Yonge Street van attack

8 women, 2 men among those killed in Toronto van attack


The brazen daytime attack that played out on Yonge Street on April 23, 2018, sparked a wave of fear and grief in Toronto and beyond, with some saying the city would bear permanent scars.

Police allege Alek Minassian deliberately drove a rental van onto the crowded sidewalk. The 26-year-old is charged with 10 counts of first-degree murder and 16 counts of attempted murder, allegations he will face in a trial scheduled to begin next February.

A year later, the more than $4 million raised in support of the victims and their families have been disbursed, and consultations are underway to build permanent memorials.

While some wish to avoid memories of the incident, families and communities across the city are marking the grim anniversary with events dedicated to those they lost.

A service will be held at a Toronto church to honour Munir Najjar, an 85-year-old Jordanian citizen who was visiting his children in Toronto with his wife when he was killed in the attack, said Harry Malawi, a family friend and president of the Jordanian Canadian Society.

Najjar’s wife has been in and out of the city in the last year and their son, a musician with the Canadian Arabic Orchestra, has returned to work, Malawi said. “They’re trying to live their life, they’re trying to move forward,” he said.

Marking the milestone is key to ensuring those who lost their lives are not forgotten, he said. “It may bring, on one hand, bad memories but it also brings healing thoughts,” he said.

A ceremony is also planned at the Buddhist temple that Renuka Amarasingha, another victim of the crash, attended weekly, said Rev. Ahangama Rathanasiri, chief monk at the Mahavihara Buddhist Meditation Centre.

Amarasingha, 45, was an active member of Toronto’s Sri Lankan community and a single mother. Her son Diyon, now eight, was taken in by family friends and continues to attend Sunday school at the temple, Rathanasiri said.

Manjula Wickramaratne, a family friend who takes Diyon to the temple each week, said the boy is doing well and has reconnected with his father. The father, who lives in Montreal, is in the process of working out a custody arrangement, she said.

Thousands of people donated to an online fundraiser for the child, for a total of nearly $360,000. A note on the fundraiser page dated a few weeks after the attack said the organizers were working through the “legal formalities” of setting up a trust for Diyon.

The last year has involved legal battles for several of those hurt or grieving as a result of the attack.

Three people who were injured — Amaresh Tesfamariam, Catherine Riddell and Amir Kiumarsi — have filed lawsuits against Minassian, as has the family of Anne Marie D’Amico, who was killed in the crash.

The lawsuits, which have not been tested in court, are seeking millions of dollars from Minassian and Ryder Truck Rental Canada, alleging the devastating injuries and deaths on that day were due to an intentional act by Minassian and negligence on his and the rental company’s part.

The lawyer representing the D’Amico family has said that any money his clients may be awarded would be donated to the Anne Marie D’Amico Foundation, which supports women who are victims of violence.

Kozhevnikova, meanwhile, was locked in a dispute with her insurance company, which was withholding payments because it contested the gravity of her injuries, her lawyer said.

The matter seemed poised for resolution recently after medical experts hired by the company deemed her to be “catastrophically” injured, Michael Taylor said. Kozhevnikova, who suffered neck and spinal injuries, is “as catastrophic as catastrophic can ever get,” Taylor said in a recent interview.

The medical designation should raise her insurance coverage limit to $1 million from $65,000, he said. Though Kozhevnikova does not fully grasp the issue, the outcome is a “huge relief,” her lawyer said.

Overall, Kozhevnikova has remained positive, though her moods and her ability to communicate can be erratic, he said.

“She went through a lot of things in her life. She went through the war as a teen, she went through immigration — that wasn’t easy also — she survived the van attack,” Taylor said. “She’s just thankful of being alive.”

With files from Liam Casey

@repost Dissolution of Marriage

Via Family Law Center

source https://toronto.citynews.ca/2019/04/22/north-york-van-attack-survivor/

By The Wall of Law April 22, 2019 Off

Elijah Cummings

Elijah Cummings

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump and his business organization have sued the Democratic chairman of the House oversight committee to block a subpoena that seeks years of the president’s financial records.

Rep. Elijah Cummings issued the subpoena earlier this month to Mazars USA, an accountant for the president and Trump Organization.

The complaint filed in federal court in Washington says the subpoena seeks to investigate events that occurred before Trump was president and “has no legitimate legislative purpose.” It says “Democrats are using their new control of congressional committees to investigate every aspect of President Trump’s personal finances, businesses, and even his family.”

Jay Sekulow, one of Trump’s lawyers, said in a statement Monday that “we will not allow presidential harassment to go unanswered.”

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source https://canoe.com/news/world/donald-trump-trump-organization-sue-democratic-house-chairman-elijah-cummings

By The Wall of Law April 22, 2019 Off

bynes1000

bynes1000

Amanda Bynes is doing well as she continues to receive treatment at a rehab facility, according to her family’s lawyer.

The Hairspray actress checked into a facility in January after suffering “a relapse” and is continuing to receive help and treatment from mental health professionals and addiction counsellors.

In an interview with People, Amanda’s family lawyer Tamar Arminak updated fans on her health.

“Amanda is doing great, working on herself, and taking some well-deserved time off to focus on her wellbeing after graduating FIDM (Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising) in December,” she said. “She’s spending time reading and exercising, sketching for her new line and mostly making sure this time around she puts her needs first.”

In November, the 33-year-old appeared on the cover of Paper Magazine and candidly opened up about her very public breakdown, which led to her hospitalization, multiple arrests and rehab stints, in 2013 and 2014, and her battle with drugs.

Arminak also told Access that the Paper interview forced Amanda to realize that she needed to work on herself, and she made the decision to seek help.

“This time around she realized herself after the recent Paper Magazine interview and spread that she really wasn’t feeling like herself all of sudden and that she wanted to address that,” the lawyer shared. “She wanted to address it right away before going back into show business and exploring show business again… And it was her decision and her choice to address the situation, seek treatment which I think is an incredibly mature way of handling this type of thing.”

In the candid interview, Amanda revealed her plans to return to acting, but Arminak has said that is on hold until she feels healthy and ready to complete her treatment. However, she is in constant contact with her teachers at FIDM and is still studying fashion while she seeks treatment and hopes to return to campus and pursue her own collection afterward.

@repost Prenup Lawyer near Me

Via Fast Divorce

source https://canoe.com/entertainment/celebrity/amanda-bynes-doing-great-in-rehab

By The Wall of Law April 22, 2019 Off